So they may be reusing some PHY parts like the OFDM but the rest seems custom.
Gell-Mann amnesia effect applies here. This is pretty bad reporting.
PS: You can, the vacuum of space is actually terrible for cooling, I was making a joke.
The only reason for the freezing temperatures is to keep foodstuff fresh.
Also datacenters underground is only a marketing trick (we keep you servers in a bunker). If anything it only complicates getting rid of extra heat (eg. problems with London underground  )
As you say, it's total nonsense - even if the cause does turn out to be an electrical fire, it's unlikely to be due to insufficient cooling of the whole warehouse.
She implied that DC are built underwater/in mountains (true) often (false) because electronics get hot (true...ish). And then drew the conclusion that this is one of the reasons the warehouse is cold (false) on top of the obvious one:
> The temperature was to protect the cold food, I was told.
It's amazing how many people in this thread are looking at the headline and jumping to the conclusion that there were no humans present at all.
Perhaps not for long, according to the article they're now training robot arms to perform the packing tasks.
I'd say we're at least a decade away from a robot that can pick up irregular items like a person can.
I reckon they'll have this mostly working in under a year.
That’s the story I’ve been told at least.
BBC online has been significantly limited twice, and BBC news more generally once (One relatively recent Tory change required the BBC to take on the costs of World Service that had always been Foreign Office until that point. Whilst editorially independent, the FO could ensure certain regions received output).
It is quite sad, as there were many areas they were doing well in.
This was also a 'BBC Technology reporter' IIRC.
We as humans are very good at coming up with solutions to ambiguous/messy real world scenarios... robots less so. By definition, the current set of robots are programmed for specific situations.
As we automate more and more, I suspect we will have more and more “one off” catastrophic events. Yes, once we experience them, we can “test” against them. However it almost seems to argue for one amount of human in the loop no matter what, if only to give an occasional “that seems weird” check.
Am I missing something? Yes we can make an argument for machine learning to learn “nominal” and report off nominal... but that only works if you gave the right sensors being inputted in the first place.
Hopefully, developing gaming AIs such as AlphaGo and AlphaStar will help us with this, but for now I remain dubious - AlphaStar, at least, has trouble reacting at all to the unexpected.
Where I work we use a hybrid system that must be pretty common — instrument, establish patterns, watch for anomalies (automatically) and alert humans when they happen.
Will be interesting to read the investigation report & see what actually went wrong.
Looking at the warehouse videos, it’s clear that under the robots is a vast sea of individual towers of plastic boxes, all packed in tightly. I suspect that once that plastic was burning merrily, it would be very hard to stop & the heat would start cooking off the lithium batteries in the robots above. Hard to see how a sprinkler system can prevent fire from taking hold deep inside those towers of boxes, if that’s what happened.
My bets are that it started somewhere totally different and unrelated to the robot system. Will be interesting to see why their system failed.
I guess there's a lot of isocyanate foam insulation, once that gets going no sprinkler is going to help.
Although we’ve heard of hover boards, and the rare steals bursting into flames it is odd that battery robots on rails weren’t thought to be a fire risk.
That added to the fact that it wouldn’t be simple or safe to get to a fire in the middle of the grid.
Whilst commuting into London Liverpool St I’d quite often see huge plumes of thick black smoke from fires in tyre dumps, which must be a huge source of pollution even with all the diesel lorries and cabs.
Slightly disappointed though if I’m honest. This was the future. And now it’s going to be looked down on by every semi critical person as a complete failure even though the actual picking process was working very well.
For those who don’t know, Ocado was the only supplier in the UK that pretty much have a 1:1 correlation with what you order and what you get and haven’t been sitting on a shelf for days. All the other supermarkets are picked from local stores by hand and are quite frankly terrible with 2-15 items (from experience) missing on every order and some things very near expiry dates.
Sainsbury’s for example substituted me some bread which was out of stock with a fresh loaf expiring on the day it was delivered. The delivery turned up at 22:00...
It's a feature, not a bug.
Ocado will for example substitute some things that I don't really need, and aren't really substitutable. but if they don't have the nappies you ordered? No substitute, nadda. And it isn't like you can wait a week for nappies if you're running out.
Sainsburys I've always found ok, even for our Christmas shop, there weren't any substitutes.
Where Ocado is better is search. If I search for 'juice' in Sainsburys I very quickly get 'quinoa with juice of jojoba'. Ocado gives me actual fruit juices.
(the real big thing for me is that I have a weekly shop set up, and if I forget to look on their site, they'll send me something based on a tolerably ok prediction of what I usually buy; it far from perfect, but good enough that I occasionally doesn't bother log in on purpose, because I know it will be close enough to what I need to be ok)
As for substitutes I’ve had some crazy ones from Tesco.
I heard this warehouse only accounted for a small percentage of their capacity but I guess it's a big blow for customers who were primarily served from that location
Not only their risky robot venture cost them a lot, but they ended up burning more by operating them than regular warehouses.
In retail there are thieves who don't care about stealing from big companies like how they might care about stealing from small businesses as there is an assumption everything is insured. I am sure Ocado have insurance and I don't care too much about the shareholders of the insurance companies as I am sure they have their losses 'insured'.
File under 'expensive mistake' rather than 'human tragedy'.
The robots, complete with green flashing lights, are collecting crates of food that sit in stacks beneath the grid and delivering them to chutes, where human workers beneath take the number of items they need to complete an order and then the crates are lifted back by the machines and returned to their spot.
In the UK we do have a huge amount of respect for those in the emergency services but it doesn't have the patriotic edge that Americans have in the post 9/11 world. Our firefighters are down to earth heroes yes, but not Hollywood glamorised patriot heroes. My grand dad was a firefighter so I am naturally inclined to think highly of everyone in the fire service, perhaps more so than most people.
Feelings are not strictly rational, my original comment was an observation that the incident lacked the feeling of awful that goes with a Grenfell or empathy that goes with things like the Asos fire where people were having their lives in jeopardy.
2 things that I find interesting are.
A. Humans are often seen as the weak link, and cause of accidents. That obviously didn't happen here.
B. As the article points out, humans would probably have smelt the smoke, and maybe the fire wouldn't have been so damaging, a human work force has useful soft benefits.
So no it isn't a human tragedy, but its a useful case study.